Monday, July 15, 2013

Any suggestions on how to beat the summer heat?

Rollie Free kept cool in just a Speedo bathing suit.
Summer heat doesn't play well with sitting astride a hot motorcycle engine dressed in leather, gloves, helmet and boots.

It's alright if you can keep moving; nothing cools like moving through the air. But getting stuck in traffic is like being steamed in a slow cooker.

As reader Alan P. LaRue wrote recently:

"I'm at that 'am I really going to ride in the summer?' stage right now, trying to talk myself into it. Last summer it sat in the shop, so I had a good excuse. A few more weeks, though, and I'll probably decide it's just too hot, and use the car mostly until late September or early October. 38 degrees I can handle. 98? No thanks."

Which awakens this thought: why not add some system to cool the rider?

Motorcyclists add cooling rings to their exhaust outlets, scheme at ways to work oil coolers into their oil lines and discuss heat shedding motor paints on forums.

But I see little discussion of strategies to ventilate jackets, circulate air up sleeves or add a frozen ice pack to a pocket.

My favorite riding jacket has zippered openings under the armpits to cool this obviously vital region. It's remarkable how much more pleasant it makes a summer ride.

What inventive methods are you using to keep cool while you ride this summer?

Anybody ever tried slipping a frozen ice pack into a jacket pocket? Maybe wrapped in that shop rag you carry there to absorb condensation?


  1. They sell such things. But I doubt they are effective. It seems it will cool only a relatively small part of your body. And in humid climates, you'll probably get wet.

  2. Anonymous7/16/2013

    I use a "Blu-Bandoo", a little neckwrap filled with magic crystals that swell up with water and keep some cooling action going, especially if its dry. But, really, when the temp exceeds 100, nothing is comfortable. Just survive it.


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